Stewart Fisher - Brazil

Portugal were surprise winners of Euro 2016 but there are a handful of global superpowers I just can’t see past when it comes to this 
World Cup.

That means Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, Argentina, maybe Uruguay at a push.

It was meant to be Neymar’s World Cup four years ago but, fresh and blessed with an excellent supporting cast this time around, I can see this being his time, although they may have to get past the French in the semis.

Read more: El Gasico raises curtain on football's greatest show

Neil Cameron - Spain

PERHAPS it’s because the first game is between Russia and Saudi Arabia that, for the moment, I feel a bit flat about it all.

However, let’s pray these finals come close to the levels of four years ago in Brazil and we get exciting football.

I hope Lionel Messi has a good tournament with this likely to be his swansong, Belgium are worth watching, while Germany tend to do okay.

But I’m going for Spain and, yes, that is even with the change of manager. They have more world-class players then anyone else. Simple. 

Chris Jack - Spain

AS preparations for a World Cup go, it’s fair to say Spain’s haven’t gone all that well this week.

The sacking of manager Julen Lopetegui, after he agreed a deal to become Real Madrid boss and I had put my tenner on them to win it in Russia, has thrown their plans into chaos.

Fernando Hierro will now take charge and will be at the centre of the story, or the saga. 

The 2010 champions were in fine form heading into the finals and have quality and experience across the side. A remarkable story could yet have a fairytale ending.

Read more: El Gasico raises curtain on football's greatest show

Graeme McGarry - France

DIDIER Deschamps has left out the likes of Karim Benzema and Anthony Martial, but France can still lay claim to having one of the most-exciting frontlines in the tournament.

Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Lemar are all set to feature. Ooh-la-la.

Paul Pogba remains enigmatic, but brilliant on his day, too.

The bruising defeat on home soil in the final of the Euros to Portugal will still sting, but two years on, this team are set to come of age.

Alison McConnell - Germany

There will be the usual contenders to get their hands on the coveted crown and Brazil are always difficult to overlook when it comes to conversation about the World Cup.

But with Neymar admitting that he isn’t quite 100 per cent fit ahead of Russia and Spain in crisis on the eve of the tournament, then Germany 
are a decent bet to go all the way.

Much, too, will be expected of France given the depth of talent they have at their disposal. 

Read more: El Gasico raises curtain on football's greatest show

Nick Rodger - Germany 

With the unerring consistency of night following day, Germany and the World Cup go together like wurst and bier. 

In Toni Kroos, they have a precise, intelligent orchestrator while their general depth and mix of youth and experience is potent.

There probably won’t be any seven-goal routs of other world superpowers like the last time but the Germans remain an intimidating foe.